Constitutional Court

Stock Image by succo from Pixabay

DA thwarted in bid to declare lockdown unconstitutional

In its bid to have the Disaster Management Act deemed unconstitutional, the DA will have to go through the High Court first.

Constitutional Court

Stock Image by succo from Pixabay

The Constitutional Court has refused to grant the Democratic Alliance (DA) access to challenge the Disaster Management Act, TimesLive reports.

Under the act, the South African government has implemented some of the toughest lockdown regulations instituted across the globe in their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

DA suffer ConCourt blow 

There has been opposition to the measures, which have been in place since late March, with the DA heading to the ConCourt.

The court said it was in the best interest of justice to hear the party’s case at this stage.

This means that the case will have to be heard at the high court before being escalated further.

The DA has already approached the high court with an application to have the lockdown regulations deemed unconstitutional.

In its submission, it says section 27 of the Disaster Management Act surpassed the powers of Parliament.

According to interim party leader John Steenshuisen, they are now moving to secure a date for the matter to be heard urgently.

“We’ll continue the fight as its an important fight to have,” he said.

John Steenhuisen, DA interim leader

Numerous court challenges against government

Another party to have challenged the Disaster Management Act is the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), whose case was heard at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in June.

Judgement on the matter was reserved.

FF+ MP Wouter Wessels accused the government of using the Act to impose regulations which could have an adverse impact on the lives of South Africans.

“If you have the power to limit the rights of South Africans, there should be parliamentary supervision, and there should be a bigger oversight and debate regarding regulations that are imposed,” Wessels said.

“That is why we are saying the Disaster Management Act should be declared unconstitutional.”

Wouter Wessels, Freedom Front Plus MP

South Africa has a total of 159 333 confirmed COVID-19 cases after recording the highest daily increase in infections on Wednesday. The death toll is currently at 2 749.